Characteristics of Hereford Cattle
Herefords are an ancient breed, developed in England’s Herefordshire. Originally large framed cattle used for draught work, some Herefords were said to weigh over 3000 lbs. Around the 1800s they were crossed with cattle from Flanders to produce the modern Hereford appearance we see today.
Use: High quality meat production.
Characteristics: Herefords have white faces, bellies, legs and switch. They have a red back and sometimes red markings around their eyes. Herefords can sometimes be more susceptible to sunburn and cancer eye (ocular squamous cell carcinoma) more than other breeds. Cancer eye is more common in cattle which have unpigmented skin around their eyes. Some breeders will try to selectively breed animals with red markings around their eyes to try to avoid the development of cancer eye.
Herefords are a horned breed, however polled Herefords are available.
Herefords are a popular beef breed as they are docile in nature and easily handled. The have superior foraging ability, vigour and hardiness. They are usually good mothers and are able to produce more calves under adverse conditions than many other breeds. Their hardiness ability to withstand harsh weather conditions has meant they are able to adapt to a range of environments around the world, making them a popular breed worldwide.